Ryan Newman leads opening Cup practice at Atlanta

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Ryan Newman leads opening Cup practice at Atlanta
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Mar 3, 2017, 6:39 PM

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series returned to unrestricted racing with Ryan Newman returning to his Rocketman ways at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday.

With less than five minutes in the session the No. 31 shot to the top of the speed chart with a lap of 187.875mph after 16 laps.

Newman leads all current drivers with seven poles at the 1.5-mile track. In 24 starts, his best finish is fifth — twice.

“I didn’t get everything I could have gotten out of the car,” Newman said. “But I’m pretty sure other guys are still working on their cars and we’re done. I just want to get good notes and get ready for qualifying tonight.”

Jamie McMurray (187.735mph), Kyle Busch (187.595mph), Matt Kenseth (187.494mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (187.487mph) rounded out the top-five in 85-minute session.

The only issue during practice came on the No. 18 Toyota. Initially, the car wouldn’t start but the team replaced the starter and Busch finally made it out on the track 16 minutes into the session.

Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10 speeds during the initial practice. All 39 drivers participated in the session.

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Atlanta
Location Atlanta Motor Speedway
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Richard Childress Racing
Author Lee Spencer
Article type Practice report